Not Like Mike
As a reader I could have been better served if Michael Sragow had taken a recent lesson in manners, the manner in question being, “If you don't have anything nice to say, change the subject.” Michael spent all that ink writing how repetitive, unsubversive, and conforming American cinema has become in the 1990s (“Identity Crisis,” Sept. 24). I would have liked to read Michael's opinion on some of the more subversive, original, and nonconforming mass entertainment available. If movies suck, give me an alternative to going to view them. Has Michael played any really good computer games lately, has he read any engaging books that made him uncomfortable, has he listened to any really interesting radio shows? In my opinion it is not enough to write “Unless filmmakers and moviegoers revolt, the image Americans will project to each other and the world will continue to be that of a bloated consumer.” Michael should have suggested entertainment alternatives that would help fuel that revolt.
I enormously appreciate your exposure of the “Daylight Merger” (“Daring Daylight Merger,” Mecklin, Sept. 17).
Those con artists learned how from those who have done the same thing on a smaller scale throughout the Bay Area. Privatiza-tion = theft.
Willie Sutton robbed banks because “that's where the money is.” Sutton nowadays would find a niche in the health industry.
Norman F. Carrigg, M.D.
What's That Loud Sucking Sound?
The article by Jeff Stark “Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy” (Music, Sept. 24) was a full-page waste of paper, stretched to the point of boredom.
We are entering a new century. I don't know if this guy realizes it, but to get played/noticed — somewhere a corporation must be involved. Rage are making a statement in their own way.
Jeff, try reviewing Barry Manilow at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Sounds like that's more your speed. Hell, then you can write about the outrageous cost of his T-shirts and why he hasn't “come out.”
The Grid's piece on Gavin Newsom (“Gavi-Davi-Pyyeeewwww,” Sept. 3) is a parody of good muckraking. Leaving aside the merits or demerits of the issue of whether or not Newsom has ignored putative conflicts of interest in his role as a supervisor, the authors undermine their thesis by sprinkling ad hominem epithets throughout the piece. Instead of coming across as perspicacious, they merely sound bitchy.
Deadly in Vegas
Inspired by Silke Tudor's poetic description of the music in her House of Tudor column (Sept. 10), I shelled out 10 bucks to see Death in Vegas at Bimbo's 365 Club. I'll be frank. They sucked bad. I am still puzzled by Tudor's review. Could the music on the album she described be that different from what I saw and heard? In the review, Tudor purrs: “the vibe is jazzy, smoky, and thick — luxuriant if you will.” If anything, the music was thin, predictable, and about as luxuriant as a pair of rubber pants. I half-expected Jesus Jones to take the stage. Tudor babbles on: “sensual and somewhat dusty, like blowing off an old 45 in a dimly lit room.” Huh?
I'll translate: Annoying, like pulling out your old EMF CD, blowing the dust off, listening to it for about 10 seconds, and then stepping on it. When I got home, I read the review again just to make sure I hadn't hallucinated. Creative writing skills can't make up for a lack of ability to separate mediocre pop drivel from real music. Just because a band is British doesn't necessarily make them good.